Written in July 2010
Due to a turn of interesting events, I was at work today with nothing to do for several hours, so rather than sitting at my desk and staring at the wall for two hours, I decided to surf the web instead. (That sounds bad, I know, but my actions were justified, believe me.) I thus had time to write this.
Anyway, as I was reading daily news on msnbc.com, I kept coming across article after article involving Tea Partiers and racism and the federal budget and Democrats and the government and politics in general. And seriously, guys, as I was reading these biased pieces of work (from both sides of the political spectrum), a web of confusion started weaving itself over every word I took in. Even the articles that were written by those who supposedly agreed with what my personal beliefs were took me by surprise. I mean, I was rather reminded of high school. Snippy comments, cliques clumping together, fingers pointed, bad words said . . . I half expected someone to step into these sneakily written pieces of work and start handing out detentions or something.
Long story short, I clicked out of msnbc.com and decided to spend the rest of my free hour or so writing my own article — an article as unbiased as I could possibly make it. Because the wanderings of my mind were still settled on immigration due to a political discussion I partook in previously, I filled my notebook with thus:
Here is my logic.
Tea Partiers, Republicans, Democrats, conservatives, liberals, and independents all think that their beliefs are correct and are what is best for this country. Forget the world for a brief moment. Let us speak of our glorious United States of America.
All of these people who make up our country and who are apart of these different groups are all thinking of this country and are trying to do what is best for it with every action they make. However, “what is best” is the reason we are all divided — no one can agree what is best for the United States of America. Despite the fact that everyone has their country’s best interests at heart, we are all up in arms over many things. Ironic how we all call ourselves “United,” isn’t it?
Now, let’s take immigration into consideration. Not the law recently passed in Arizona, not the ideas or the support or the arguments behind it, but immigration itself. Ask yourself, is the immigration system a problem here in this country? If you believe it is, keep reading. If you do not, perhaps you should find something better to do than read the ramblings of an eighteen year old college student.
Immigration exists purely because a person or persons decide to leave their country of origin and move to another. Remember, we have forgotten about the world momentarily and are focusing on the U.S., so when I say “immigrants,” let us refer to the Mexicans who live directly below us. Immigration thus exists in our country because Mexicans have decided to leave their country and come to ours.
It is my greatest fear that there are people in the U.S. (and Mexico, for that matter) who have not questioned as to why that is. Why people could get up and leave their country is a feat that not many of us living in the grand country of America have considered. Therefore, let us take the time to question Mexicans’ actions.
Why would a person leave his or her country and go to another?
As I have not made the treacherous journey over a national and federal border, I could not possibly presume to know the truthful answers to this question. If, however, you are interested in reading my logical guesses, please read on:
- because they are unhappy with their own country for a number of reasons including:
- general poverty
- lack of food
- lack of good health due to lack of medicine
- lack of work (which provides a family with finances to pay for food and shelter and medicine and frisbees for children to play with)
- lack of clean water
- lack of leadership (that would otherwise provide citizens with a good and happy country to live in)
- they fear for their lives (this includes fearing any physical, verbal, and/or sexual abuse and/or death threats these potential immigrants may have undergone)
- they believe that the country they are immigrating to (in this case, America) can provide them and their families with the following:
- food, shelter, water, good health, and a steady income
- a clean environment to live in
- contentment and hope (and while I’m still at it — life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, as our forefathers so beautifully put it)
Assuming that my bold presumptions are correct, let us now observe the number of immigrants who are currently sneaking across the U.S./Mexico border or are now living in the U.S., having sacrificed the fear of getting caught and deported/arrested for the chance to live in our country. Different political groups everywhere can agree that the number is quite high, am I right? Thousands and thousands of men, women, and children from Mexico have come to the United States of America over the past few decades, and more are probably on their way in as I write this.
Here is where I fear we arrive at a crossroad. It is my belief (and yours, too, if you’ve read this far) that our immigration system is problematic. All problems require solutions in order for said problems to cease to exist — therefore, our immigration system needs a solution. It’s simple logic. Like one plus one equals two.
Before I trot off to the solution to this problem, allow me to bore you all with a very brief description of a weed. We all know weeds (yes, Arizonians have them, too). We all know that if you pull the leaves and the vines and thorns and stuff from the plant so that you can’t see it, the damn thing will just grow back (oftentimes worse than before) and make our yards look like pollen mating grounds. Why? Because the unfortunate person responsible for getting rid of the weed did not remove it correctly — that is to say, he or she did not rip it up by its roots to get rid of it all together.
Now that we are all pleasantly reminded of the proper disposal of a weed, look back upon the immigration problem, and put that in the weed’s place, thorns and all. This immigration system problem (or rather, the lack of an immigration system), like the weed, requires a solution so that it does not spread and cause more conundrums to foundations and the like. Also like the weed, the problem of our immigration system must be ripped up by the roots in order for it to be removed. It must be solved directly at the core of the dilemma in order for it to go away completely.
Here is where all of the Republicans, Democrats, conservatives, liberals, Independents, Tea Partiers, Crisp Chewers, and Gum Blowers insert their own ideas as to how we can go about solving this problem (or, in case you haven’t been hammered enough by my metaphor, how we can go about ripping up the roots of this weed). Here is where we offer ideas such as walls and more enforcement and new laws that will take out the leaves, vines, and roots of this weed, but NOT THE ROOTS.
If you would now do me the courtesy of reading back over my list of reasons the immigrants (Mexicans) would consider leaving their country for another (the United States), please do so now.
Now that we all have officially questioned why people choose to immigrate, why don’t we consider this for roots: if people did not want to leave their countries, there would be no immigration. And without immigration, there would be no immigration system problems. Simple logic again, but this time it is rather like one plus two equals three.
The fact remains, however, that people still want to leave their countries, hence the immigration system problem. Therefore, we can agree that the logical thing to do would not be to set up walls or pay millions of dollars we don’t necessarily have to hire extra look-out men for the border or create new laws enforcing consequences to illegals — in order to solve this problem, we must make it so that these immigrants do not want to leave their country. How do we go about doing this? Well, we don’t let our country go to hell, for starters, so that Mexico will look better by comparison. We start by offering our support to Mexico, we start by earning the country’s trust. We work on projects together, we educate citizens and leaders alike about matters of concern to both countries’ people. We work together to discus proper consequences for people living off of America’s finances illegally and proper rewards to those who are legal and are helping America’s economy. And we build on that trust so that day by day, the leadership of Mexico grows stronger so that living conditions improve for its citizens. Granted, we will not be the only factor in this change — Mexico must show effort in wanting to improve as well. If we do not get that guarantee from them, then we must allow people into our country with open arms. That last sentence is certainly up for debate, but that is another topic for another day.
Now, is all of that more work than pointing guns at illegals who are trying to sneak over the border or passing laws that call for a police officer to ask for identification from anyone who looks suspicious? Absolutely. But remember this: the United States of America was not founded by men and women who took the simple way out. The rare people in this world who are determined to make their countries a better place to live in live by doing what is right, and not what is easy.
Think of all the romantic songs and poems like Pocahontas’s, “Just Around the Riverbend,” or Robert Frost’s, “The Road Less Traveled,” — works or art whose messages we have followed for years. People of the world, we still have that ability to follow those messages, those messages of hope and promise that we subconsciously still believe in.
Every person on the face of the earth has choices to make, and everyone is entitled to take the road he or she chooses. But solutions do not come wrapped up like presents ready for distribution. They take time and effort and passion for them to be carried out. And while the true solution to the United States of America’s lack of an immigration system problem is a tough path to follow, it is not one that we, in the many years to come, will not regret taking.